Lessons Learned Box "Had I known........ I would have....."

What have we learned after decades of being married to someone who is not coping and addressing or even accepting ADD / not trying at all to work and commit and be a partner?

Had I known how it would turn out.....Had I known what I know now....Had I known it would never change from the early struggling days......I would have:

• I would have left the first time I caught him with another woman.

• I would have locked the house doors the first time he stayed out til 4 in the morning drinking. Then taken the kids to Mom's house....letting the entire family (his included) know how things were really going at our house - getting it out in the open rather than "taking it and stuffing it and keeping it secret thinking that I could handle it all quietly" all these years.

• I would be able to recognize when he was "getting his way" at the expense of my self respect, at the expense of our relationship, at the expense of my sense of security, at the expense of our family unity. And I would have gone to counseling over this issue until I could feel I and my children were secure with him.  If it could not be remedied, I would have left.

• I would not believe suspicious lies trying to give him the benefit of the doubt so many times. I would address EVERY infraction until I was satisfied.  I would be MORE verbal and less accepting - because with untreated/unaccepted ADD, making yourself accept unacceptable behavior is sacrificing your SELF.  I would have been more verbal and less compromising, knowing what it takes to be happy and secure and responsible myself. Letting his name calling and manipulations fall on deaf ears but keeping my integrity.

• I would not bow to his manliness as in ("promise to obey" - yes this WAS in my wedding vows per our minister at the time. ... as in "support his ego by being soft and sweet, letting the little things go and not fight" rather than being strong and sane.) Because blindly trusting the memory and perspective and authority and your unplanned/unspoken future life with an untreated/unaccepted ADDer is insanity.  So, I would have taken on the job as dictator rather than humble servant and let the name-calling fall on deaf ears.